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The Flight Bag – Essential Luggage For Pilots & Passengers

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What is a flight bag?

A flight bag is a piece of luggage designed specifically for air travel. Flight bags are typically smaller than traditional suitcases and often have multiple compartments and enough storage space to help keep everything organized. They also usually have a shoulder strap or carry handle, which can be helpful when navigating through an airport.

In addition, many flight bags supplied to the US market are equipped with a TSA-approved lock, which helps to keep belongings secure during the journey. As an air travel passenger, whether you’re a frequent flyer or just taking a weekend getaway, a flight bag that has been designed for air travel can make life a little easier.

Who needs a flight bag?

As well as passengers, a flight bag is an extremely useful tool for pilots and any members of the aircrew, whether a private pilot or commercial airline captain. A sturdy flight bag will typically have several pockets and compartments to keep all essential items organized and within easy reach. This can include items such as aviation headsets, sectional charts, kneepads, checklists, fuel testers, and other items that may be needed during the flight.

In addition, a flight bag can also serve as a convenient place to store important personal items such as a passport or driver’s license (and more recently, additional health documentation).

For pilots who frequently fly into unfamiliar airports, a practical flight bag makes life just that little bit easier. It is essential to have quick and easy access to all of the necessary documents and resources, and a well-organized flight bag can make all the difference.

What makes a good flight bag?

A good flight bag should be spacious enough to fit everything you need, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to carry or stow away, either in the cockpit or in the overhead lockers. The bag should also have several well-organized compartments to help keep everything in its place and it should be durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel.

For this reason, it should be made from high-quality materials that can resist wear and tear, and it should have strong straps and handles that won’t break under the weight of your belongings. With all of these features, a premium bag can make traveling easier and more enjoyable.

As a pilot, the best flight bag for you will have dedicated pockets and storage space for all the particular items you carry with you.

These pockets might include:

  • Two padded headset pockets
  • Fuel tester pockets
  • A large transceiver pocket
  • A zippered iPad pocket
  • A zippered rear pocket
  • Mesh pockets for easy access to items e.g. a water bottle
  • A zippered pocket or separate pockets for each or some of the following; sunglasses, spare batteries, flight plans, charging cords, and other gear

In addition to the exterior pockets you might want to consider these other bag features:

  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Lined main compartment
  • Water resistant
  • J hook (to attach to other bags)

Pocket Cap Front

The pocket cap front is a large zippered pocket made up of a large flap that covers the entire front of the bag and it is secured with a snap closure or a zip, enabling quick access. The pocket cap front is typically used to store items such as an boarding pass, passport, or other documents. The pocket cap front is a feature you’ll see on almost every type of flight bag.

Choosing a flight bag suitable for passengers

When it comes to choosing a flight bag, there are a few things to take into account. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that the bag is the right size for your needs.

For air travelers, carry-on bags have strict size restrictions and these vary from one airline to another. Budget airlines and short-haul flights insist on smaller bags than long-haul flights, so be sure to check the dimensions of your bag before purchasing it.

Your decision will probably be based on the routes you most often fly. As a business traveler who makes several short-haul flights within the same country or continent each year, you might opt for a small bag than, for example, someone who travels long haul once a year to go on holiday.

Once you’ve found the perfect size, you can start to think about style. Do you want a bright and colorful bag that will stand out from the rest? Or are you looking for something more subdued? There are plenty of great options out there, so take your time and find the perfect bag for your travel requirements.

The Flight Bag - Budget Airlines Have Smaller Size Limits
Ryanair non-priority carry-on bag limits are 25cm x 40cm x 20cm

The Student Pilot Flight Bag

During that initial rush of enthusiasm when student pilots start learning to fly there is the pleasure of buying all the gear needed for the weeks and months ahead. Some of this equipment may last well past the date of obtaining a pilot’s license. A battered flight bag may be a visible reminder of those early days of flight lesson nerves.

All this pilot gear could also be on a birthday or Christmas wishlist. However, your family and friends may not be familiar with the products and where to buy them, so you may have to send them a wishlist link or precise details if you’re to receive the flight bag and other pilot gear you have in mind.

The Pilot Flight Bag

A recreational pilot (PPL or similar) may simply continue using the flight bag that has served well during training, but commercial or airline pilots (CPL/ATPL, etc) may need something a bit more executive looking that befits the aircraft and the company image.

Wouldn’t that battered old flight bag from your student pilot days look a bit out of place in the cockpit of a Hawker 4000? Perhaps it’s time you treated yourself and upgraded to something a bit smarter, like a leather flight bag that matches the shine on your shoes and clean-cut of your uniform.

Pilot bags used by professional pilots will be by their side at all times and will not have to travel on a luggage cart at any point.

Where to buy your flight bag

Flight Outfitters

Flight Outfitters is an aviation apparel brand that is all about providing pilots and aviation enthusiasts with high-quality, stylish clothing. The brand offers a wide range of items, from T-shirts and hats to jackets and flight suits. In addition to their clothing line, Flight Outfitters also sells a variety of aviation-themed accessories, such as headphones, bags, and wallets.

Flight Outfitters bags can be inspected closely at about twenty retail locations in the USA, a few in Canada, and one in the UK. In addition, there are several in Europe. If you prefer to shop online then there are of course dozens of online retailers base in the USA, Germany, South Africa, Australia, and the UK. The Flight Outfitters lift bag is a popular choice.

Flight Outfitters Bush Pilot Bag
  • 2 padded headset pockets
  • Front organizer pocket
  • Felt Flight Outfitters signature orange interior
  • Canvas with leather accents
  • Metal hardware and padded shoulder strap

Frequent Flyer Flight Bags

For air travelers, the best flight bags don’t need to be quite as compartmentalized as those used by airline captains carrying assorted amounts of flying gear. An excellent bag for a passenger will be made from durable material and have enough space for all their essential gear. They may also want a padded iPad pocket, several external pockets, perhaps a padded laptop sleeve, and a padded shoulder strap.

Like aviator sungglasses, flight bags are often used by people who not only have no practical connection with aviation but may not share any interest in it. Their only interest is in aviation is a comfortable flight with punctual departure and arrival times.

For you, maybe flight bags are a stlyish accessory, a practical bag made perhaps out of oiled South American cowhide. You may not need a bush pilot bag but you like the style, it’s colour and its leather accents on the canvas edges, and you just want bag features such as an organizer pocket, rolling luggage handles, adjustable strap, and enough room for all your accessories.

Vancropak Travel Backpack, 40L Flight Approved Carry On Backpack

This spacious and stylish backpack is designed for both men and women and meets the maximum size allowed by IATA flights. The expandable design allows you to store everything from clothes to toiletries. Whether you’re hitting the road for a weekend getaway or taking a business trip, this carry-on backpack will make packing a breeze.

The Vancropak Travel Backpack has a spacious main compartment and separate mesh pocket, it has plenty of room to store all your travel gear. The internal compression elastic straps keep everything secure, while the front compartment with various pockets is perfect for storing notebooks, pens, earphones, and other small items.

And the anti-theft back pocket is ideal for keeping your valuables safe. The Vancropak Travel Backpack is large enough to hold everything you need for a comfortable trip, and its stylish design makes it a great choice for both men and women.

It features an air-mesh ventilated back panel, adjustable chest straps, and four exterior side compression buckles to help keep your belongings secure. Plus, the thickened sponge handles and shoulder straps provide extra comfort when you’re carrying your bag.

Vancropak Travel Backpack, 40L Flight Approved Carry On Backpack For Men &Amp; Women, Expandable Large Luggage Backpack Daypack Water Resistant Lightweight Business Weekender Bag, Black
3,164 Reviews
Vancropak Travel Backpack, 40L Flight Approved Carry On Backpack for Men & Women, Expandable Large Luggage Backpack Daypack Water Resistant Lightweight Business Weekender Bag, Black
  • ✈Expandable & Large Capacity: This large travel backpack with an expandable design gives you a greater capacity of up to 40L. Unzipping to get larger storage space, you can easily fit 3-7days travel gears. The carry on backpack meets the maximum size allowed by IATA flights, can be fitted overhead and under-seat, is ideal for a weekend trip, business trip. The TSA 180 degree zipper closure helps you go through the security check quickly
  • ✈ Convenient Design: This carry on travel backpack is designed with hideaway padded shoulder straps which can be hidden away in the zippered back panel when not using. Two padded handles on the top and the side are designed to lift the backpack from multiple angles, provide you more flexible carrying experience such as carrying like a suitcase or a backpack. A luggage strap on the back is designed to fit on the luggage's handle, for easier carry on international travel
  • ✈ Easy to Organize: The luggage backpack's main compartment with separate mesh pocket and roomy space to store different travel gears, internal compression elastic straps can well secure items. The front compartment with various pockets can be used to store notebooks, pens, earphones, and other small items, for quick pick out. An anti-theft back pocket is suitable for valuables. The travel backpack is large enough for vacation, weekend getaway, overnight trip
  • ✈ Reduce Pressure Feature: The backpack equipped with adjustable chest straps, 4 exterior side compression buckles, air-mesh ventilated back panel, can effectively relieve the pressure on the shoulder and neck, also reduced stress on the zippers. Thickened sponge handles and shoulder straps provide you with more comfort when you are carrying and gripping the bag. Great valentine's gift for him or her, gift for dad
  • ✈ Durable & Warranty: Men's Travel Backpack is made of lightweight water-resistant polyester and anti-scratch material, which can provide protection on drizzle days. Zippers are easy to close and open. if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, we will give you a satisfactory solution within 24 hours. Regular sizes are 20*14*7 inches; after extended sizes are 20*14*9 inches. This item is not intended for use by people 12 years old and under

Other Flight Bags

Headset Flight Bags

Your aviation headset may be an item that you want to carry for quick access in a compact bag specifically designed for the task, rather than in the zip pocket of a larger bag. You may need to make it easily accessible in a dark cockpit, for example.

The Simple Flyer Alpha Pilot Headset Flight Bag is the perfect bag for aviation professionals and student pilots. It has a large headset pocket, a protected iPad inner pocket, and pockets for pens, phone chargers, and everything else needed to be easily reached. The large side pockets are perfect for water bottles, sunglasses, view limiting devices, handheld radios, ADS-B receivers, etc. Simple Flyer’s Alpha Pilot Headset Flight Bag is made of durable rip-stop nylon fabric that will last in harsh environments.

Other Travel Bags

Messenger Bags

A messenger bag is a type of shoulder bag that was often used by bicycle messengers, hence the name. The design of the bag allows it to be worn across the body, leaving the hands free to ride a bike.

Messenger bags are often made from durable materials such as canvas or leather, and they often have several pockets to help keep everything organized. A messenger bag is are very often a sturdy bag and makes very good laptop bag.

Many people now use messenger bags as an alternative to a traditional briefcase, backpack, or flight bag, as they can be more comfortable to carry and offer easy access to the contents. However, messenger bags tend to have just one large compartment, so they don’t keep everything separated.

Bestseller No. 1
Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag
400 Reviews
Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag
  • Water bottle/back-up radio pocket, Fuel tester pocket, 2 external chart pockets
  • Fleece-lined electronic accessory pockets (ADS-B / GPS / Iridium), 4 internal mesh organizers for cables and charging cords
  • Fleece-lined headset pocket with elastic loops for extra batteries for ANR headsets
  • Adjustable shoulder strap, braided wire reinforced carry handle and metal hardware
  • External Dimensions: 12"H x 10.5"W x 9"D
Bestseller No. 2
Flight Level Flight Bag, EFB, Pilot Bag, Flight Case, Crew Bag with Removable Cooler Insert
  • Padded internal tablet pocket
  • Adjustable internal dividers
  • Luggage sleeve
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Plenty of room for headsets, chart, and documents
Bestseller No. 3
COSCOOA Tactical Messenger Bag, 15.6 Inch Tactical Briefcase for Man Military Laptop Bag Messenger Shoulder Bag, Includes a Flag
  • [We Care Your Laptop] As a laptop bag, we seriously consider the safety of laptop. So we use a thickened sponge protective layer for digital product storage space. The laptop bag provides enough protection that you never to be worry about your laptop & pad. By the way, it’s prefect for 15.6” laptop and 11” pad.
  • [Large Capacity for Life] It’s more than 20L, big enough for you, even you want to take a football game after your work. Not only can adapt for your computer and work materials, but also your sneakers and jerseys. This backpack can meet all your needs.
  • [Different Storage Function Partitions] We set up different storage compartments, including main pocket, secondary pocket, privacy pocket and outer functional area, as well as molle system and anti-theft buckle. Of course the shoulder strap is included. So you can easily find the supplies you need without the clutter of an entire bag.
  • [Practical and Stylish Design] A brand new design makes the functional partition more perfect so that a bag can be used for a lifetime. 600D oxford fabric.
  • [Not Only a Laptop Bag] You can use this backpack in any situation thanks to the practical and stylish design. DIY an unique bag with Velcro you like.
Bestseller No. 4
Premium Pilot Bag, Flight Bag, Aviation Bag (Navy Blue)
  • Durable nylon fabric
  • Large headset pocket, with battery holder
  • External double pockets for flashlight and fuel tester, walkie talkie storage pocket
  • File pocket, Ipad storage pocket, it can hold tablets of all sizes, include pilot kneeboard
  • Quick access chart pockets, with a zipper design at the bottom, which can be inserted into a trolley case
SaleBestseller No. 5
MATEIN Carry on Backpack, Extra Large Travel Backpack Expandable Airplane Approved Weekender Bag for Men and Women, Water Resistant Lightweight Daypack for Flight 40L, Black
  • EXPANDABLE & LARGE CAPACITY: This extra large travel backpack with expandable feature offers you more packing capacity. Unzipping to get 40L storage then can easily hold packing cubes, make-up bag, outfits, camera bag and gear, etc. It fits overhead and under seat while on state of standard carry on size, is ideal for men, women, weekend traveler, or occasional vacationer. This versatile luggage backpack also meets airline carry-on requirements, for airlines such as Easy Jet, Spirit, Jet Blue
  • CONVERTIBLE DESIGN: The carry on backpack is designed with hideaway padded shoulder straps which can be easily stored away in zippered back panel, transforming this vacation backpack from carry-on duffel to briefcase style and provide you a more flexible carrying experience. A luggage strap on the back is designed to fit on luggage/suitcase, for easier carry on international travel or cruise. A great gifts for people who travel
  • EASY TO CARRY: The luggage backpack is light to carry due to its adjustable shoulder straps, comfortable air-mesh ventilated back panel. 2 padded grab handles are set on the top and the side of the travel backpack, making it easily to take the bag from an overhead bin. The best gift choice for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year, Valentine's Day, also available as travelers gifts
  • BUILT FOR TRAVEL: Front compartment is for little gear such as phone, earphone. The large inside pocket has internal compression elastic straps. The padded straps include a sternum strap that can be adjusted upward or downward, set to go across your chest, relieving the weight from your shoulder. 4 external compression straps keep contents from sloshing around and can get an inch or 2 more of vertical space also reduced stress on the zippers.Best father's day gift for dad
  • DURABLE and LIFETIME : This large travel backpack is made of water resistant lightweight polyester with lockable zipper heads. Could be survived in different temperatures. With sturdy zippers and decent stitching, this backpack won't show any defects when on the go, ensuring you an unforgettable weekend getaway. Does your partner like to travel? It's an ideal Father's Day gifts. It's also a practical Christmas and New Years gift for your parents, travele
Bestseller No. 6
Flight Gear Crosswind Bag
  • Padded headset pocket
  • Padded internal iPad pocket
  • Cavernous center compartment with plenty of room for books and kneeboards
  • Two quick-access chart pockets
  • Exterior fuel tester pocket
Bestseller No. 7
Flight Outfitters Lift Mini Flight Bag
  • Front organizer section with two mesh pockets and a key ring. Perfect for storing charging cables, cleaning cloths, and other small items.
  • Main compartment fits a headset and is padded for protection. Two elastic loops in headset pocket are made specifically for extra AA batteries.
  • Padded iPad pocket in back protects your EFB. Pass-through cable slot makes it easy to charge your iPad from a battery pack.
  • Quick access back pocket for charts or other thin items. Three exterior pockets made for flashlight, pen/pencil, and fuel tester 
  • Quick grab handle plus rugged webbing to attach a carabiner.
Bestseller No. 8
Farm Blue Tactical Flight Bag – Aviators Parachute Pilot Helmet Bag #1 OD Green - Military Style
  • Discover The Ultimate Military Flight Bag... The Farm Blue military aviator's bag will become your trusted companion during your outdoor adventures or daily grind thanks to its ergonomic and heavy-duty design.
  • Top-secret Compartments For Your Gear... The 7" wide x 7.5" deep top-secret pocket and exterior stealth pocket will allow you to store your textbooks, your wallet, your cell phone or your camping gear with confidence.
  • The Coolest Military Laptop Bag You Can Get... Pack your laptop, gaming headset, tablet or iPad in our heavy-duty nylon tactical flight bag without any worries. The roomy design will fit all your accessories.
  • Spoil Your Loved Ones With A Special Gift... If you are looking for a military-grade, ultra-lightweight parachute aviator's flight bag for your boyfriend, husband, father, son or grandfather, look no further.
  • Celebrate One Of The Most Iconic WW2 Naval Battles: Our tactical bag pays tribute to the battle of Mariana Islands, where our Pacific Fleet defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy with the help of the P51 Lightning Mustangs aircrafts
Bestseller No. 9
ASA AirClassics Flight Bag - ASA-BAG-FLT
  • Padded 600D Nylon for superior durability
  • Comfort Grip connectable handles
  • Non-slip detachable carry strap
  • Reinforcing straps around bag for strength
Bestseller No. 10
Flight Outfitters Waypoint Backpack
  • Padded laptop compartment fits laptops up to 16” MacBook Pro
  • Padded tablet sleeve fits tablets up to iPad Pro 12.9”
  • Organizer pocket with slots for pens and business cards
  • Soft-lined sunglasses pocket protects your shades
  • Two zippered side pockets offer easy access to your radio or water bottle

Last update on 2023-05-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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